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Emergency Preparedness for Kids: Water Purification with Free Printable

There's nothing like waking up and realizing that you have no running water.  Such was the case for our family not too long ago.  Thankfully it only lasted a day, but that's still a long time when you have four special needs kiddos completely freaking out about it.

It only seemed natural to turn the experience into an opportunity for learning.  This went perfectly with plans on this year's school syllabus.  Today I'd like to introduce a new series on the blog called Emergency Preparedness for Kids.  Our first post focuses on water purification and comes with a free printable.  We hope you enjoy!  
Emergency Preparedness Activities: Water Purification
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Our water purification activities focused on educating the kiddos, easing their anxieties, and providing them with steps to follow in case they are in a situation without water in the future.  All activities are safe and kid friendly.

Filtering Water
Filtering Water
We taught the kiddos that the first step to obtaining clean water is to filter it.  We used a strainer with a coffee filter for this process.  The kiddos practiced pouring water from the pitcher into the strainer with the filter.  They thought it fascinating to see what residue was left on the coffee filter.

Before moving on to the next activity, I must share a precious moment from our learning experience.  Neither Jason or myself drink coffee.  We do not have a coffee maker and never have coffee filters in the home.

When Bulldozer first saw the coffee filter for this activity was ecstatic and exclaims,

"WOW!  Look at that giant cupcake holder!"  It was priceless.  I just love little moments like this.

Purifying Water with "Bleach"
Purifying Water with Bleach
The second step in our water purification process was boiling water.  I do not have a picture off this, but it's pretty safe to assume that we were boiling water all day to meet the needs of our family.

The third step in the water purification process was placing a few drops of bleach into the strained and boiled water.  To prevent accidents and skin irritation the kiddos practiced using water instead of bleach.

I loved this activity because it required so much fine motor skills practice and concentration.  The kiddos needed to unscrew the top off of the bottle.  They had to count their drops carefully after opening the bottle of "bleach."

Foods that Hydrate Sorting Activity
Foods that Hydrate
As we talked about water purification and emergency preparedness one concern the kiddos brought up over and over again was the worry about not having any water at all.  This anxiety led to the creation of this activity.

The kiddos sorted the cards, determining which foods are hydrating and which foods are not.  This activity helped them with their anxieties so much.  They liked knowing that there are options if you have no water, but do have food on hand.

Source:  Jason and I created the printable for this activity as part of our Emergency Preparedness Water Purification Printable Pack 1. For your free copy, click on the bottom of the post.

Brushing Teeth with Limited Water Supply
Brushing Teeth
We had to make a lot of changes at home during our day with no water.  This activity stood out, as it affected everyone.  How do you brush your teeth without running water?

The kiddos practiced pouring a very small amount of water into the cup provided, brushing, rinsing, pouring, and repeating. It did take some adjusting, but by the end of the day they were experts.  Lol.

Overall I was thankful for the experience of having no water in the comfort of my home, because the kiddos had time to practice skills they will need at some point in the future.  It was fun to turn the experience into a learning process, one I don't think the kiddos will ever forget.

If you're interested in the free printable, click on the link below.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the ones below.
Emergency Preparedness and Financial Struggles

How to Prepare for Your Worst Nightmare

From the Mother of a Bully

Autism supports and resources


  1. interesting science experiments and topics for life-lesson discussions, too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I need a giant cupcake holder - haha! This is great - always good to help ease anxiety of little ones with things like this too and empowers them with knowledge for the future too.

  3. It's funny actually, regarding the "teeth brushing with limited water" thing - my children are actually better at that than I am! I have to have the water running at least a little bit because the sound of brushing my teeth inside my head makes me wanna throw up for some reason. Doesn't bother my kids though!